Varsity Baseball takes a come from behind win over St Joes

Posted Friday, June 05, 2009 by silive
St. Joseph by-the-Sea
(13 - 8 - 0)

June 4th, 2009
7:30 p.m.


Archbishop Stepinac
(3 - 0 - 0)
5 6

Archbishop Stepinac 6, St. Joseph by-the-Sea 5

, June 05, 2009 1:17 a.m.

For a few minutes there at the start, everything was going perfectly for St. Joseph by-the-Sea, and the Vikings looked well on their way to a win in their CHSAA Intersectional opener.

But after a four-run first inning, everything went downhill for the Vikes, ending eventually in a 6-5 loss to Archbishop Stepinac in eight innings at Fordham University in the Bronx.

Stepinac's Michael Annunziata delivered the final blow in a tough loss, airing a single to the gap in right-centerfield with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, scoring Eddie Martinez with the winning run.

The Vikings will play Xavier Friday, back at Fordham for a 3 p.m. start with their season on the line in the double-elimination tournament.

"4-0 spot," said Sea coach Gordon Rugg. "We gave it right back to them. 4-0, we're supposed to win that game."

The Vikings jumped on top when Chris Ramanauskas led off the game with a walk, Anthony Visone singled and Nick Pavia's double to the gap in left-centerfield scored both runners.

Chris Conklin was hit by a pitch, he and Pavia each moved up a base on a balk and Phil Ragusa's single scored Pavia. Conklin stole home on the back end of a double steal and the Vikings had their 4-0 lead.

But Sea starter Marco Santomauro immediately showed control problems in the bottom of the first, hitting lead-off man Don Signore and walking the next two batters to load the bases, with Signore scoring on a third-to-first double-play grounder.

Sea stretched its lead to 5-1 in the second with Ramanauskas singling and swiping home while Pavia forced a rundown between first and second, but Santomauro still couldn't find the plate. He walked four more batters in the second as Stepinac cut the lead to 5-4. In 1 2/3 innings Santomauro walked six batters and hit another while allowing four runs on just one hit.

"Just didn't have it," said Rugg. "Maybe I should have taken him out a batter sooner. But they weren't hitting the ball."

Frank Stavola came on in relief and went the rest of the way in a strong performance, but Stepinac tied the game in the fifth on a triple and sac fly.

After picking up all five of their runs and four hits over the first two innings, the Vikings managed just one hit over the final six innings. They had chances to reclaim the lead in the sixth and seventh, both with a pair of runners on, but couldn't get the clutch two-out hit they needed.

"Take your hat off to their kid," said Rugg of Stepinac starter Ed Byrne, who recovered from a rough start to go 5 2/3 innings. "He was throwing good. He threw good when he had to. The other kid (Signore) came in and did a nice relief job."